On Friday, Black River Technical College invited individuals who had donated to the Project REACH artifact cabinet campaign to a special presentation and showing of the cabinets. Several of the donors who attended visited from as far off as Colorado and Kansas.
Attendees were the first to view the exhibits. Notable exhibits include a full-sized weaving loom which dates back more than 200 years, an original spinning wheel which came on a wagon train to Dalton in 1812, and documents dating as far back as 1894.
Dr. Jan Ziegler, BRTC interim president and the one responsible for beginning Project REACH in 2002, provided an overview of how Project REACH began and shared its story. BRTC construction manager Ronnie Walker, who has been involved with the project since 2008, shared the restoration process and student interaction with attendees. Finally, Cindy Robinett, BRTC adult education instructor and descendent of both the Rice and Looney families, shared her family’s story and invited others to do so as well.
For the past two years, BRTC’s Office of Institutional Advancement has been leading a campaign to purchase cabinets to house some of the hundreds of artifacts retrieved from the historical sites at Dalton. The cabinets, purchased from a local jewelry store, have been modified to display and protect the more than century-old artifacts.
The artifact exhibits are now open to the public. They are located in the REACH archive room in the BRTC library on the Pocahontas campus.
For more information about Project REACH, contact its coordinator Holly Looney at (870) 248-4189 or via email at Holly.Looney@blackrivertech.edu.
Project REACH—Researching Early Arkansas Cultural Heritage—is a historic preservation project conducted by Black River Technical College. Through multi-year grant funding from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC), the restoration of two early log structures from Arkansas’ Territorial era have been restored and are available for tour. Sites are open to visitors from 9-12 the second Saturday the month, April – October as well as every Tuesday from 9-3.